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The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 1, 1998

Aesthetics and Philosophy of the Arts

Andrew Light
Pages 114-118
DOI: 10.5840/wcp20-paideia1998116

Restoration of Art and Restoration of Nature

Robert Elliot's "Faking Nature," represents one of the strongest philosophical rejections of the ground of restoration ecology ever offered. Here, and in a succession of papers defending the original essay, Elliot argued that ecological restoration was akin to art forgery. Just as a copied art work could not reproduce the value of the original, restored nature could not reproduce the value of nature. I reject Elliot's art forgery analogy, and argue that his paper provides grounds for distinguishing between two forms of restoration that must be given separate normative consideration: (1) malicious restorations, those undertaken as a means of justifying harm to nature, and (2) benevolent restorations, or, those which are akin to art restorations and which cannot serve as justifications for the conditions which would warrant their engagement. This argument will require an investigation of Mark Sagoff's arguments concerning the normative status of art restorations.

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